STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute announces 2018 seed grant program recipients

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The STEM Education Innovation & Research Institute, or SEIRI, at IUPUI has announced its 2018 seed grant program award recipients.

Now in its second year, the grant program awarded $137,300 to IUPUI researchers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The funding provides principal investigators with an opportunity to address key issues within their curriculum.

"The SEIRI seed grant, or SSG, program unites researchers across various STEM disciplines and supports them as they work toward the common goal of improving pedagogy across IUPUI undergraduate and graduate courses," said Annwesa Dasgupta, a postdoctoral researcher at SEIRI. Her research currently investigates the benefits of collaborating on STEM classroom teaching techniques in SSG learning communities.

The grant program, which provides funding of up to $30,000 per project, also helps faculty prepare to apply for national funding from agencies like the National Science Foundation.

"This grant provides the seed funds necessary to help prepare a competitive national NSF S-STEM proposal," said Tamiko Neal Porter, lecturer and academic advisor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the School of Science and one of this year's recipients. "We are thrilled that our SSG proposal was funded by SEIRI."

Five projects were selected as recipients of this year's seed grants:

  • "Integrating Disciplinary International Collaborative Experiences (DICE) into the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum": Rob Elliott, senior lecturer of computer and information technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology; Leslie Bozeman, director of curriculum internationalization, Office of International Affairs.
  • "Extracurricular Projects to Enhance the Current Engineering Educational Paradigm": Alan Jones, associate chair, mechanical and energy engineering, associate professor, mechanical engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology.
  • "Peer Assistant Role Models in a Graduate Computer Science Course": Evava Pietri, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, School of Science; Snehasis Mukhopadhyay, professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Science; Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, associate professor, program head, applied social and organization psychology, program head, industrial/organization psychology, Department of Psychology, School of Science.
  • "Indianapolis Metropolitan Area Chemist Community Outreach Program ('I M A' Chemist Program)": Tamiko Porter, lecturer and academic advisor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Science; Eric Long, director of graduate studies and professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Science.
  • "Writing Support in STEM Education: Replication and Expansion of a Model to Improve Writing Support Tutor Training": Robert Weissbach, chair, Department of Engineering Technology, associate professor of electrical engineering technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology; Corinne Renguette, assistant professor and program director of technical communication, director, Technical Communication Writing Center, School of Engineering and Technology; Mary Frances Baechle, lecturer of technical communication, School of Engineering and Technology; Matt Rothrock, coordinator, Academic Resource Center, IUPUC.

Abstracts for each can be found online.

"We enjoy working with the faculty who receive these grants because they have a commitment to improving learning environments for their students," said Pratibha Varma-Nelson, School of Science professor and founding executive director of SEIRI. "This also fosters their ability to evaluate the impacts of their educational innovations."

The next grant solicitation will be in May 2019. As information about the upcoming solicitation becomes available, it will be posted on the SEIRI website. Questions should be addressed to Varma-Nelson at pvn@iupui.edu.